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Homes lost in Black Forest fire reduced in amended damage report

July 9, 2013 Updated: July 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm
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photo - At the home of Mark and Lisa Ruth, friends and fellow members of the Faith Presbyterian Church helped the couple to clean up their property June 22, 2013. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)
At the home of Mark and Lisa Ruth, friends and fellow members of the Faith Presbyterian Church helped the couple to clean up their property June 22, 2013. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett) 

The Black Forest fire destroyed 486 homes in June - down from the previously reported 511- according to a new and final figure calculated by the El Paso County Assessor's Office on Tuesday.

Thus far, the Black Forest fire cost $85,442,052 of damage to homes, said Assessor Mark Lowderman on Tuesday.

Along with the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department and sheriff's office, the assessor's office has spent the past month calculating the damages wrought by the Black Forest fire. It also killed two people and scorched more than 14,000 acres.

Rather than count home damage by addresses, as the sheriff's office did, the assessors office counted damage by parcels, which is more accurate, Lowderman said. Twenty-five of the 486 homes destroyed were mobile homes, and Lowderman counted 30 damaged detached garages and 37 damaged homes, up from the sheriff's estimate of 28 damaged homes.

Lowderman and his staff will spend the week finishing up other damage calculations, such as damage to commercial buildings, damage to outbuildings as well as tree damages. Lots with totally destroyed trees hit by crown fire will have their value reduced by 30 percent, Lowderman said. Some lots will have to be re-evaluated later, when it will be obvious which trees survived.

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